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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Liverpool FC Signs Fernando Torres of Atletico Madrid

Tomorrow in Liverpool, the newest "red" will be unveiled to the Kop faithful. Fernando "el niño" Torres, 23, formerly of Atletico Madrid, and presently a Spanish international, was transfered for a Liverpool record of 26.6 million pounds (~US $53 million).

Torres had spent his entire career with the Madrid club, and made his La Liga debut at the young age of 17. He is the type of striker that Rafael Benitez, the manager of Liverpool, lacked. The signing also demonstrates that the new North American ownership (Mr. Tom Hicks and Mr. George Gillett) are serious about bringing the EPL title back to the Merseyside.

For Americans, "transfers" are a new concept. We are used to drafting players via college or high school drafts. Owners do not "purchase" players that they desire. Teams do not have youth academies in baseball, basketball, and gridiron football to nurture future talent. They must either draft or trade for players. Often, monetary considerations make up the deal; however, the concept of paying vast sums of money to purchase a star player from another team is novel. Paying extravagant salaries is not. In international soccer, you must buy whom you want if they are still under contract, and then pay a market rate salary.

Compliments to Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett for opening their wallets, and their minds, very wide. ;-)

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